As an exceptional novelist, writer and woman, Rosamunde Pilcher is a treasure to Cornwall, and to Britain as a whole. However, although her books are quite widely known, the woman herself is not so. If you search for her online, it’s quite difficult to find any substantial information about Pilcher – who is she? Who was she before she became an author? All that lovely stuff that we want to know! So, we thought, as the last part of our series of articles on this master of novels, we’d tell you a bit more about the person behind the books.
We’ll start right at the beginning. Originally christened Rosamunde E. M. L. Scott, Cornwall’s leading lady was born on 22nd September 1924 to parents Helen and Charles Scott. She was born in Lelant, a village in the West of Cornwall between Hayle and St Ives. Her family and upbringing is believed to have been pretty standard middle class English. In short, they didn’t seem to struggle to get by, sending Rosamunde to private schools – a good education which will have gone a long way in making her such a talented writer! Once she had finished her school days, she went on to further education, enrolling in Miss Kerr-Sanders’ Secretarial College. Something that is interesting is that, reportedly, she began writing at the age of seven! Now 92, we’re sure her writing has come on a long way since then!
In 1943, as the second half of WWII was causing chaos across the world, and as Rosamunde was approaching her twenties, she joined the Woman’s Royal Navy Service. She stayed working for them until 1946, and in those few years her life changed. She met Graham Hope Pilcher, a jute industry executive and celebrated war hero, who would become her lifelong husband. In 1946, they married, and so Rosamunde Scott became Rosamunde Pilcher. They remained married until his recent death in 2009. Together, they had four children; daughters Fiona and Phillipa, and sons Robin and Mark. Perhaps proving that talent runs in the bloodline, her son Robin is also a successful novelist.
In 2002, after a life-long career of writing and many literary triumphs, Pilcher was recognised by Britain with an O.B.E. – and well deserved it was! Though she has now retired from writing, her work continues to be a huge success, its popularity spanning across many different countries, though its heart will always stay firmly planted in Cornwall.